Start of Vetter's $300M U.S. sterile plant project delayed for years

The delay at the Des Plaines, IL, site is about four years later than first announced. (Vetter)(Photo courtesy of Vetter Pharmaceuticals)

Construction of German CDMO Vetter’s new sterile injectables manufacturing facility—part of its $320 million plan to invest in a U.S. site in the Chicago area—appears to be getting pushed back until 2022.

The delay at the Des Plaines, IL, site is about four years later than first announced and is due to Vetter’s decision to establish customer commitments before pumping more money into the 17-acre site that used to be the Salvation Army’s central territory headquarters, the Daily Herald reported.

"As you can imagine, the creation of such a commercial site for manufacturing pharmaceutical and biotech drug products requires a significant initial investment of more than $300 million," company spokesman Markus Kirchner told the Herald. "Therefore, in order to seriously undertake such a large project, it is important that we have in place a stable financial plan that justifies this investment."

Currently, the company is renovating a five-story office building previously owned by Salvation Army that will house management, human resources and legal departments.

When first announced in 2016, the 1.2 million-square-foot facility was expected to feature a sterile injectables plant able to fill and finish of aseptically prefilled syringe systems, cartridges and vials. The plant was forecast to generate 300 to 500 jobs as the company expanded operations.

The Ravensburg, Germany-based company has a small clinical supply facility in the nearby Village of Skokie where about 70 people work. At the time of the project announcement, Vetter said it wanted to be able to offer its clients commercial manufacturing capabilities in the U.S